Falkirk 0 Raith 1: Falkirk festivities fall flat

Falkirk FC v Raith Rovers,  27/12/2014, Falkirk, Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk District, Scotland''Falkirk FC v Raith Rovers -1st Half'Scottish Championship''Pic by Alan Murray'Contact - mob   075 11123 919'                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk
Falkirk FC v Raith Rovers, 27/12/2014, Falkirk, Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk District, Scotland''Falkirk FC v Raith Rovers -1st Half'Scottish Championship''Pic by Alan Murray'Contact - mob 075 11123 919' home 01877 331266 www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk

A late Ryan Conroy goal gave Raith Rovers some precious points and ended Falkirk’s five-game winning run.

The midfielder scored from close range to edge the game in the visitors’ favour after a mundane, but open encounter.

Dumbarton v Falkirk FC,  20/12/2014, Dumbarton, Bet Butler Stadium , Castle Road, G82 1JJ, Dumbartonshire , Scotland''Dumbarton v Falkirk 1st Half'Peter Houston thoughtful.''Pic by Alan Murray'Contact - mob   075 11123 919'                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk

Dumbarton v Falkirk FC, 20/12/2014, Dumbarton, Bet Butler Stadium , Castle Road, G82 1JJ, Dumbartonshire , Scotland''Dumbarton v Falkirk 1st Half'Peter Houston thoughtful.''Pic by Alan Murray'Contact - mob 075 11123 919' home 01877 331266 www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk

TV viewers on BBC Alba will have had to change channels before 6.30 p.ml. for a thriller - the first half certainly didn’t get anyone on the edge of their seats.

However, that said, it was fairly even and though not firing on all cyclinders, Falkirk didn’t play particularly badly.

Both sides seemed to be denied clearcut penalties by ref Andrew Dallas.

First Calum Elliot nipped oin on a pass from Mark Stewart and was tugged by peter Grant. The tumble resulted in a collision with Jamie MacDonald but ref Dallas waved the appeals away. Just as he would do with the Bairns when a ball into the Raith area struck a stray hand but no award was given.

Falkirk went through a long barren spell without a meaningful shot at goal, but should have had one goal on 24 minutes from two shots at David McGurn’s net. First Rory Loy was given a second bite at a Craig Sibbald throughball he faield tot ake first time, but the shot was blocked by the goalkeeper’s legs. Blair Alston shot the rebound inches wide of the far post on the volley to round off a strange passage of play.

Jamie MacDonald kept the Bairns in it with some stops from Martin Scott and Mark Stewart but a last second deflection before half-time had him beaten and only the post saved his, and Peter Grant’s blushes.

After the interval Falkirk’s attacking intent was clear with Peter Grant going close and Loy firing wide.

Peter Houston aimed to increase the momentum in the final third with the positive running of Scott Shepherd replacing Botti Biabi and ending a frustrating afternoon for the young striker just before the hour mark.

It was still scoreless then but Raith finally broke the deadlo9ck on 80 minutes. They threastened mopments earlier when Ryan Conroy stroked a shot inches wide from Calum Elliot’s cross when he robbed David McCracken on the halfway line, but Conroy made amends merely seconds later.

A low cross from Rory McKeown flashed acrss the goalmouth about few feet from the line. Falkirk were frightened to touch it and concede and own goal and watched it fly across only to be gratefully converted by Conroy at the backpost to seal the win.

A glancing header from Loy edged just by the post and another cross by the same player was almost turned into his own net by Jason Thomson but David McGurn performed a wondersave to ensure the points headed for Kirkcaldy.

Falkirk: MacDonald, Duffie, McCracken, Taiwo (T.Grant 81), Alston, Sibbald, P. Grant, Leahy, Cooper (Smith 74), Biabi (Shepherd 58), Loy. Subs: Shaughnessy, Smith, Dick, T. Grant, Maybury, Shepherd, Bowman.

Raith: McGurn, Thomson, Watson, Hill, Stewart, Elliot, Martin, Callachan, Conroy, McKay, McKeown. Subs: Perry, Fox, Anderson, Vaughan, Nade, Barr, Laidlaw.